Building a smart home can be a little overwhelming at first. There are so many different types of smart home devices out there now and more of them are coming out every day. There are 3 major reasons to get smart home tech in your home.
- Saving money
- Home security
There are of course other reasons to get smart home tech, like the fact that it’s just plain cool, but for this article we’ll stick to the more practical applications of smart technology. So the first thing to familiarize yourself with if you’re new to the smart home industry is the different types of devices that are out there and how they might help you reach your smart home goals.
Generally you’ll need a central hub for all of your smart home devices, most of which run on a wireless protocol called Z-Wave which can hop the signal from device to device. From there it’s just a matter of connecting devices to the hub and connecting all of the dots. If your goal is to save electricity, then you will probably want to start out with a smart thermostat and smart lights. If you’re looking for home security and controlling the access of your home then you will probably want to start with smart locks and Z-Wave enabled home security like Protect America. You might also consider installing smart security cameras like the Arlo Pro or a doorbell cam to protect your packages.
To list some of the most popular types of smart home devices:
- Smart home hub
- Smart plug
- Smart Camera
- Smart lock
- Smart home security
- Smart thermostat
- Smart light
Best Smart Home Hub
For a hub your best bet is probably going to be the Samsung SmartThings hub. The main reason is that because it is so popular, you know it will always have a support for new energy smart home technologies. On top of this, it already supports virtually any main stream smart home tech on the market so it’s a pretty safe bet without having to do a bunch of research on everything you’re buying and making sure they are compatible. Another plus is their IFTTT features on their mobile app. It’s relatively simple to control all of your devices by grouping them into different categories and rooms.
Another Option is the Wink Hub 2 smart hub. It is also compatible with a wide range of smart devices and has a pretty powerful mobile application. Another plus is the design of the Wink 2. It’s quite a bit sleeker than its predecessor and has many more powerful features. Either way you go will be a good choice.
Best Smart Plug
A good smart plug is all about connectivity. As long as it can connect to your hub then you will be able to turn your appliances on and off based on your needs, which will save energy and add convenience. The best part is that smart plugs are pretty inexpensive. Our pick is the Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug by TP-Link because of its wide range of features, high ratings and the very low price tag.
Best Smart Security Camera
For security cameras the main thing you want to be warry of is too much dependence on your home network. That’s exactly why you’ll see cameras like the Arlo Pro 2 with a separate hub that handles all of the video feeds. If you try and wire up a bunch of wireless cameras to your own router or modem generally it will overload your hardware and cause video delays and bog down your network. The Arlo Pro 2 works flawlessly because of their hub, the quality is fantastic and their mobile app works like magic. If you looking for good security cameras, that’s probably going to be your safest bet.
Best Smart Lock
The tricky thing about smart locks is having the ability to unlock them remotely from outside of the network. The only problem with that is that you might feel like that is an unnecessary security risk. That’s why the August Smart Lock gives you the ability to turn that feature on only if you want it on. These locks are also very rugged, easy to install, dynamic, and compatible with a wide range of smart hubs including Apple Homekit.
Smart Home Security
Smart home security can come in handy in a lot of situations. I like to think about those times when you see a fire truck headed in the direction of you home and shoots a spike of fear through your belly. Well, with smart home security you would know if anything bad had happened because you would have received a push notification to your phone. That’s a whole new level of peace of mind. Protect America security systems are completely compatible with your Z-Wave smart devices and will alert you if something is wrong at home no matter where you are in the world.
Best Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats aren’t just about saving on electricity. They also have individual room sensors to help produce a more consistent temperature throughout the day and they can learn your preferences. The best bang for your buck will probably be the Nest Thermostat E. You’ll notice that there is a more expensive version called the Nest Learning Thermostat, but the only features that it has over the Nest E are more display options. The Nest E has the same potential to save energy and keep you comfortable as any smart thermostat on the market.
Best Smart Light
Good smart lighting is all about a balance between features and cost, especially if you’re planning on installing smart lights throughout your entire house. For this task we would recommend the Philips Hue. They won’t hurt the wallet too much and are some of the most feature rich smart lights out there and they have their own bridge so they won’t bog down your other smart applications.
Connect and Protect your Smart Home
There’s a reason Protect America security systems can connect to all of your Z-Wave smart home devices. There really isn’t a better way to get peace of mind than to have your security system warn you if something is going on at home. Not to mention the ability to pull out your phone and check on your cameras, sensor status, entry log and more. The best part is that Protect America ships the security system right to your door and can be installed in minutes.
You install it on your own schedule (no waiting for the guy to show up) and then pay a lower monthly fee for live monitoring. It’s like a win-win for the average homeowner.
The ever-changing landscape of monitored home security can be difficult to navigate, but you can save yourself some of the headaches commonly associated with those big name corporations when you opt for a more customer-friendly option like Protect America. Get a free quote when you call them today.